frequently asked questions

What can I do to stay safe on campus?

The Police Department provides a number of services to help educate the campus community in how to avoid being a victim of a crime. Printed information is available at Police Stations on both campuses on various topics, free of charge. An attempt is made to stock the most current publications. 

​​However, if a campus user has knowledge of a particular publication not in stock that could benefit a substantial campus audience, an attempt will be made to obtain the item upon request. Police personnel are always available to answer questions and make suggestions regarding campus security issues. Here are some helpful safety tips:

  • Walk in pairs or groups; avoid isolation
  • Be alert; project confidence; look people in the eye
  • Stay in well-lit areas away from potential hiding places
  • Know where you are and where places of refuge are
  • If followed, go toward well-lit areas where there are people
  • Walk on the left, facing traffic, so vehicles can’t easily approach you from behind
  • Wear clothing and shoes that enable you to move fast
  • Carry only lightweight objects
  • Wear or carry items like jewelry and cash that are minimal in value and don’t attract attention
  • Avoid approaching strangers in vehicles for any reason
  • Carry a whistle or other noisemaker
  • If you think you are in trouble, do anything to attract attention – Scream! Break glass! Sound a horn!
  • Consider carrying pepper spray or other lawful self-defense equipment
  • Carry a cell phone
  • Develop and maintain excellent physical condition within individual age and health limitations
  • Well-maintained aerobic condition can serve you well if you are forced to run or fight for your safety
  • Learn self-defense/martial arts if so inclined.

What if I become the victim of a crime?

If you are the victim of a crime, do not tamper with the crime scene and do not delay in calling the police. The sooner the police are called the better our chance of solving the crime. If you happen to see something suspicious, do not hesitate to call the police with a description of the persons, their vehicle and what they are doing. This may save a fellow student or staff member from suffering the frustration associated with being a victim. Remember it is a team effort. The police are here to serve and assist you, and we need your help to maintain a safe campus that is conducive to learning.

Blue Light Emergency Phones:

At Foothill College, De Anza College, and the Sunnyvale Education Center you will find several blue phones located within each campus.The phones may be identified by their signature bright blue light as well as emergency signage. The blue light phones serve as a way for anyone to quickly and easily report an emergency, suspicious activity, or request police services.

Where can I find a blue light emergency phone?

Blue light phones can be found all across each campus. Typical places to find a blue light phone is in front of common areas, on campus grounds (tall blue pole with a blue light on top), wall mounted to the exterior and interior of some buildings, near parking areas and within parking structures. Furthermore, every elevator on campus is equipped with an emergency phone, which has the same functionality as a blue light phone.

How do I use the blue light emergency phones?

You can activate a blue light phone by pressing the "Call" button and listening for an operator response. If you are in an emergency situation where you cannot wait near the blue light phone for a response or you cannot speak, you can still press the call button and Foothill – De Anza PD will still be notified and dispatched to that location.

Where Do We Stand on 8 Can't Wait?

Over the last several years, there have been conversations and debates about how policing should operate. At Foothill-De Anza Community College District Police Department, we continually strive to achieve our goal of providing the highest quality service to fulfill the needs of the college community. We stay true to our mission and will commit our resources in partnership with the community to promote a safe and secure environment. 

We recognize our diversity and acknowledge challenges in our communities and abroad.  We will continue to work on building transparency, trust and listen to our community. Here is where we stand on the '8 Can't Wait' initiatives. 


Our department has never trained on the use of chokeholds and strangleholds as acceptable use of force. As of January 1, 2020, the use of ‘chokeholds’ is listed as prohibited in Use of Force policy 300.3.6


De-escalation is interwoven throughout our department’s ongoing training and in our policy manual. De-escalation requirements are found specifically in our Use of Force policy 300 as of January 1, 2020. 
100% of our officers have completed various types of de-escalation training, mental health and crisis response training. 60% of our officers have gone through advanced Crisis Intervention training and we are actively working at ensuring 100% of our officers complete this immersive training. 


Our training and Use of Force Policy requires, where feasible, the officer shall make reasonable efforts to both; identify themselves as a peace officer and give commands or warnings before force is used and that deadly force may be used. Our officers make every effort to ensure that a situation is de-escalated and that all involved parties remain safe. 


FHDA police officers are trained to use the least amount of force necessary to ensure the safety of all involved in a situation or incident. Our department policy requires officers to evaluate the use of other reasonably available resources and techniques when determining whether to use deadly force. The use of deadly force is only justified when there is an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to the officer or another person.


Since January 1, 2020, our department policy requires officers to intercede to prevent the use of unreasonable force by another officer. It is also required that the officer immediately report the incident to a supervisor.


FHDAPD policy 300.4.1 prohibits the firing of a weapon at a vehicle unless that vehicle is being used as deadly force against another person. An officer should only discharge a firearm if the officer reasonably believes there are no other reasonable means available to avert the imminent threat of the vehicle, or if deadly force other than the vehicle is directed at the officer or others. Our officers are not allowed to shoot at a vehicle in an attempt to disable it. 


Per California law, PC 835a an in our Use of Force policy, officers shall use only the amount of force that reasonably appears necessary given the facts and totality of the circumstances known or perceived by the officer at the time of the event to accomplish a legitimate law enforcement purpose. 


FHDAPD policy 300 subsections require any use of force to be documented promptly, completely, and accurately in a report. In addition to officer’s documenting use of force, there are additional levels of review by Sergeants and the Police Chief along with the department to document use of force incidents to the California Department of Justice.